After studying at Warsaw"s Main School in Russian Poland and at Leipzig University (to 1874), Chmielowski taught till 1898 in Warsaw private schools. From 1903 he was a professor at Lwów University in Austrian Poland. He wrote for many periodicals.
In 1881-1897 he edited the Ateneum.
Chmielowski was the outstanding student and critic of literature during Poland"s Positivist period. As a historian he was influenced by the philosophical and esthetic concepts of the French critic Hippolyte Taine, and studied the relations between writers" works and their social and cultural milieux, seeking the expressions of those relations chiefly in the works" ideological concerns.
Chmielowski died on 22 April 1904 in Lwów and was interred at the Łyczakowski Cemetery.